Gwen puts Cebu province in GCQ
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Tuesday, September 7 decided to place Cebu province under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Garcia issued Executive Order (EO) No. 41 formally declaring the new quarantine status for the province, which is more relaxed compared to the ‘GCQ with heightened restrictions’ that was recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) last Monday, September 6.
“Right now, I am declaring, and under this EO, that the entire province (should be) under GCQ,” said Garcia in a recent press conference.
The EO took effect on Wednesday, September 8.
With GCQ in place, the provincial government has allowed establishments, particularly restaurants, to expand their indoor capacities up to 50 percent, and al-fresco at 100 percent.
Tourism activities are also permitted to resume but subject to regulations found in EO No. 20 – A series of 2020, and EO No. 13 series of 2021.
The Capitol, however, still prohibited operations of selected business establishments such as entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas; recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops and other gaming establishments, outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games or activities.
Contiguous to Cebu City, Mandaue City
Garcia invoked the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160) for making such moves, adding that the province is “contiguous to Cebu City and Mandaue City” which were recently downgraded to GCQ from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
“It is not logical or sensible to have different classifications. Unless they forgot that we are one Cebu island and probably imagine that Cebu City belongs to another province and Mandaue City belongs to another island,” she explained.
“It is (up to) us, local chief executives, to know the situation on the ground. And it is us who deal with our own constituents that elected us, not the non-elected, responsible for their lives and livelihood,” she added.
However, the governor pointed out that the EO will allow certain local government units (LGUs) here to elevate their quarantine status should the need arise.
“If the need arises, we may, as what we have done in the past month, declare some LGUs, if needed, under MECQ. But right now, for clarity and uniformity, we are declaring the entire province under GCQ,” Garcia said.
The governor was referring to the instances when the Capitol agreed to place a total of 12 LGUs under MECQ while the rest of the province was in its “GCQ with heightened restrictions” phase last August.
Data from the Provincial Health Office showed that as of September 5, Cebu province’s active COVID-19 cases stood at 3,249. More than half of this figure or 2,452 were placed in isolation while the rest, at 977, were under hospital care.
The province already recorded a total of 1,982 deaths related to COVID-19 of which 693 were confirmed to have been caused by the infection.
Breakdown of the same data showed that most of the COVID-related deaths, or 850, were tagged as incidental findings which meant that the disease was not the primary cause of death.
The remaining 439 were classified as “no diagnosis.”
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